The Knife


Walk me down to the end of the knife...

because I was never much good with a blade:
the sharpness, its demand, unyielding.
But in the butcher’s hand, a cool judge of texture,
moving smoothly through the fact of flesh –
then the warm secrets come spilling out,
messy, slithering, tender…

Into my skull goes spoon after spoon –
another analysis, another cure;
all those good intentions.
While a body crawls towards the slab
across a much-ploughed life,
and seeing comes sliding out of its sheath.

Then let me sense you, sharp-eyed sages,
whispering from the pages of eternity;
unfleshed, but fingering the edge. Dig deep:
because darting thoughts have never bared
what lolls and flops and needs straight clarity
to pin down...open...and gut it.

Held, each moment is a sharp undoing,
slicing a way between the causes.
At its point, a wild thin voice
pierces the hide and protective gristle;
meets and questions; twists and unshapes me.
A passing through with no goodbyes.

The shining, vanishing blade.

Finish the job. Cut back the lid;
gouge out the calmed abstracting eye;
address the shrieking meat. At last
I’ll get it, a lived-red knowing,
stainless in unashamed release.

Here at the end of the knife;
where we glisten with grief and love and praise.


From: Travels in the Middle Land, Dhamma Moon, 2013.


Posted: Tue 17 Nov, 2009